University Police recently donated a car to Geneseo’s new Student Advocate Response Team, thus enabling advocates to provide transportation for victims of rape and sexual assault to and from medical visits.
According to the SART website, SART aims to “ensure that medically stable students who are sexually assaulted can obtain specialized medical attention, a forensic evaluation or both.”
“When SART started, we were just looking for services that weren’t available to students on campus and we wanted to give them all the resources,” SART victim advocate senior Sara Hirsch said. “We realized it was a barrier that students didn’t know what to do or who to call [in the case of sexual assault]. Now we are just another resource.”
According to Hirsch, all victim advocates were selected based on an application and interview process. Advocates then had two full weekends of “intense training” on issues related to sexual assault under the leadership of an adviser from Livingston County Rape Crisis Services.
“Livingston County Rape Crisis is always there and is always available as backup. While their service deals with all different types of situations, we’re really focused on our college campus,” Hirsch said.
“If a Geneseo student is sexually assaulted or thinks something might have happened but they don’t really know, students can call and we will have all the resources for them,” Hirsch said. “We can give them the information on what to do about filing reports, both with the school and with police. We can tell them what kind of medical care is available to them here on campus.”
“Our biggest service is our ability to transport victims to Strong Memorial Hospital, where students can get any kind of medical care that isn’t immediately available to them on campus,” Hirsch continued. “We can drive them there and both our drivers and advocates are trained so we know how to be sensitive and deal with it.”
According to the SART website, victim advocates will use the new car donated by University Police to provide a “confidential transportation service” to Strong or other Rochester area hospitals, where the services of a sexual assault nurse examiner are available.
“SART doesn’t have a lot of funding because we are such a new organization,” Hirsch said. “We really appreciate the support from UP.”
SART services are available to students 24 hours a day, seven days a week.